President Barack Obama issued an executive order Thursday telling his administration to hurry up and do something about drug-resistant bacteria, which pose a “serious threat to public health and the economy.”
Infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria kill 23,000 people every year, make 2 million more sick and cost $35 billion in productivity lost to sick days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. “These are conservative estimates,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters. “The true number is actually much higher.”
Experts have been screaming about it for years -– more and more infections resist most, if not all, antibiotics used against them and there are not any new drugs in the pipeline.
Dr. John Holdren, Obama’s chief science adviser, sees “the potential for the runaway spread of infection” that can “undermine social stability.”